Possible MLS Strike Could Aid Everton Bid for Donovan

Thu, 25 Feb 2010 11:42
There is a possibility of a strike action by MLS players as protest against the collective bargaining agreement with the league. For soccer fans in the USA, this could mean delay in the start of the new season. However, for Everton fans, this means a chance for the team to extend their loan on Landon Donovan of the Los Angeles Galaxy. Donovan's stellar performance The US star midfielder is currently on a 10-week off-season loan from Galaxy. While Donovan, 27 had just signed a four-year contract with the MLS last December, the current situation has muddled up his future a bit. Everton manager David Moyes has been hoping to extend the loan as the player from the USA has had an impressive performance since playing for the team. In fact, Donovan was voted by fans as Everton’s player of the month and has been consistently getting positive reviews despite having played only eight games so far. There was initially a concern whether Donovan would have enough time to settle in with his new team. The player have brushed aside such concerns right away, having an assist in his first game (vs. Arsenal) which was held just seven days after arriving in England. His first European goal was on a game against Sunderland, which Everton won 2-0. The American has been contributing to the team’s victories since then, as evidenced by Everton’s five wins in Donovan’s eight matches. This is in contrast to Everton’s five wins in its 20 games prior to Donovan’s arrival. More speculations Speculation has been ripe as to whether Moyes will push for an extension of Donovan’s loan just like what AC Milan did for Donovan’s Galaxy teammate David Beckham a year ago. Everton will surely need the American player as it is also dealing with the injuries of Tim Cahill and Marouane Fellaini. However, things are not that simple since Donovan has just signed a four-year $9 million contract with MLS. In Beckham’s case, AC Milan had to yield to concessions from the MLS and Galaxy such as a friendly game in L.A. against Milan, the disappearance of the opt-out clause in Beckham’s contract, and payment of a significant amount of cash that included Beckham’s own money. Since Everton may not be able to afford such concessions and Donovan won’t seem to cough up his own money just to stay, the status quo is that Donovan will return to the Galaxy after the end of his loan. However, insiders say that he has enjoyed his time with Everton and is likely to stay in the event of an MLS work stoppage. Whatever happens, Donovan still has five games left to play before he leaves.

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